Dallas Subdivision Fights Crime with Camera Network

Residents of neighborhood would monitor feeds, handle footage management

The report, by professor Martin Gill of the University of Leicester, states that cameras in 13 of 14 locations studied in London have not reduced crime, according to the London Evening Standard. The biggest problems were lack of continuous monitoring and poor image quality.

Targeting crime

Mr. Becker said that before the surveillance system is up - in about six weeks - monitors will receive training on what to look for and how to react. He hopes there will be enough volunteers to watch the video in real time and contact neighborhood Crime Watch patrol or police if they see something suspicious.

The cameras will not be able to pan or zoom.

For many, the question goes beyond whether they work to whether they are appropriate. Mr. Rathbun worries that neighbors could use the system to gather information about one another.

"I can't pass judgment on this community or the problems or fears they may have," he said. "But if someone's visiting me in my community and maybe they're taking a picture of their car and getting their license plate, I don't know."

Mr. Becker said he has asked members to trust the organization to keep things private.

"This is strictly for crime watch," he said. An extramarital affair "is not a crime," he said.

His neighborhood, with homes ranging from $160,000 to $200,000, is in Lake Highlands' northernmost region. Sixteen apartment complexes are within a mile of the neighborhood. Residents and police have said the apartment complexes have been a source of crime for years.

While crime in Lake Highlands decreased slightly in the last two years, it increased 27 percent in the police beat that includes Richland Park Estates.

City Council member Bill Blaydes, whose District 10 includes Lake Highlands, said city officials, police, apartment owners associations and others have worked to reduce crime in the area. But he added that each group should do what members feel will serve them best.

"[Richland Park Estates members] are doing what we're asking everyone to do. They're taking care of their own - taking a proactive stance - and that's positive."